Graduation Year

2011

Document Type

Thesis

Degree

M.L.A.

Degree Granting Department

Humanities and Cultural Studies

Major Professor

Annette L. Cozzi

Keywords

Carnivalesque, French Painting, Gender, Nineteenth-century Art, Place, Subjectivity

Abstract

In this thesis I provide analysis of several nineteenth-century artworks in order to elucidate the connections between place and identity as expressed in visual representations of Paris. I utilize Bakhtin's idea of the dialogical as a means of identifying multiple subject positions that might be accessed by particular individuals who live in socially constructed spaces specific to fin-de-siècle Paris. I discuss the construction of three performed identities unique to nineteenth-century Paris: the Flâneur, the bohemian, and the primitivist. In each chapter I will parse out the social construction of the spaces where these identities existed and were performed, and link those identities to their discursive functions as particular models of Parisian life. I will discuss the relationship of each representation of identity to Henri Lefebvre's concept of socially-produced space through analysis of the stylistic and compositional choices made by the artist. The visual artworks I discuss include Edouard Manet's A Bar at the Folies-Bergère, Vincent van Gogh's The Outskirts of Paris, Night Café, and Café Terrace at Night, and Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec's Jane Avril and Divan Japonais.

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